Thursday, September 24, 2009

Working Out Without a Mirror

The studio at the gym is getting a facelift. Or rather, a floorlift? They're putting in a new floor. (Why, Alyssa, do you have to try and be so CLEVER all the time? It rarely works!) Anyway, the studio is closed for a few days, and all our classes are being held in the multi-purpose room at the pre-school. So last night I taught my mat class in there.
Normally I teach with my back to the clients, facing the mirror. That way I can say "right leg" and mean it. I get very confused when I'm facing them, and say "right leg" while using my left. I have ENOUGH trouble with right and left! I can also look in the mirror to check their form. But the multi-purpose room doesn't have a mirror.
And you know what? I really, REALLY like it!
Now I know that having a mirror is important so that students can be sure they're moving properly, but I also find them distracting. I notice all the little things about my body that I don't like. I realize that, when we're doing the Hundred, I have rolls of fat on my tummy, or that, yes, my face does INDEED turn bright, Defcon 1-red when I sweat.
All of which detracts, I think, from my teaching. Last night I felt MUCH more focused than I normally do, and I think I taught a better class because of it. So now I'm thinking I should teach AWAY from the mirror whenever possible. Turn around and face the clients. Deal with my left/right dyslexia. And, the truth is, if I'm not LOOKING at myself in the mirror, I'm FEELING a lot more. Within my body. I feel how I'm lifting my head and shoulders off the mat by using my core, rather than my neck. And I can translate that to my students.
Next week we will be back in the studio. With a brand-new floor, which is great, and hopefully I'll have a brand-new attitude. (What I WILL miss from the multi-purpose room are the hula hoops, parachutes, and ITTY-BITTY ADORABLE gym equipment used for the pre-schoolers!)

And I noticed something else, too: On Wednesdays, I spend the entire morning and afternoon dreading my full schedule (teaching from 4 PM until 8:30). Then I get to work, and I have so much fun! I LOVE teaching my classes, I ADORE my clients, and it's a blast! Sure, I'm tired at the end of it, but it's a good tired, a "wow, I really got a lot done, got a good workout, AND I'm getting paid for it" tired. The total opposite of grad school "I'm exhausted all the time and the work is never-ending" tired, or the Mom-tired, where you just float through the days in a haze of exhaustion, dirty laundry, carpools, doctor's appointments, and caffeine.
Ijust need to remember how much I enjoy my work, and how lucky I am to have it!
And to face away from the mirror when I teach.
Oh, and to pay the electric bill.

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